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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

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Theophilus appointed his tutor syncellus to the Patriarch Antony, employed him in diplomatic missions,1 and finally^ upon the death of Antonys created him patriarch. The name of John can still be deciphered under somewhat curious circumstances, in the litany which is inscribed on the bronze doors of the Beautiful Gate at the south end of the inner narthex of S. Sophia, When those doors were set up in 8385 Theophilus and his empress had no son3 and accordingly3 in the threefold prayer inscribed upon the doors, the name of John was associated with the names of the sovereigns as a mark of gratitude and esteem. But in the course of time a little prince, to be known in history as Michael IIL, was born and proclaimed the colleague of his parents. It then became necessary to insert the name of the imperial infant in the litany graven on the Beautiful Gate of the Great Church, and to indicate the date of his accession. To add another name to the list of names already there was, however, impossible for lack -of room ; nor5 even had there been rooms could the name of an emperor follow that of a subject, though that subject was a patriarch. The only way out of the difficulty, therefore, was to erase John's name, and to substitute the name of the little prince with the date of his coming to the throne ; the lesser light must pale before the greater. This was done, but the bronze proved too stubborn to yield completely to the wishes of courtiers, and underneath Michael's name has kept fast hold of the name John to this day. The original date on the gate also remains in spite of the attempt to obliterate it.
SS. Sergius and Bacchus was one of the sanctuaries of the city to which the emperor paid an annual visit in state.2 Upon his arrival at the church he proceeded to the gallery and lighted tapers at an oratory which stood in the western part of the gallery, immediately above the Royal Gates, or principal entrance to the church. He went next to the chapel dedicated to the Theotokos, also in the
1  * Under the microscope of modern historical criticism, ...  it is not surprising to find that the famous embassy of John the Grammarian to the court of Baghdad must be rejected as a fiction irreconcilable with fact.'—Prof. Bury in the English Historical Review, April 1909.   But he was sent on other embassies.
2  Constant. Porphyr. pp. 87-88.